Responding to the economic devastation that hit many Lakewood businesses, especially in downtown area, the Lakewood Development Corporation in conjunction with the Lakewood Township Committee, moved today to set aside $1 million to create an emergency disaster recovery small business loan program to assist Lakewood businesses in getting back on their feet.
“Many local small businesses suffered terribly as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the extended power outages that followed” lamented Michael “Mike” McNeil, an LDC Trustee. “It is our obligation to help them the best we can.”
A door-to-door canvass by the LCSC of store owners on Clifton Avenue revealed the extent of the damage. While virtually all downtown businesses suffered significant revenue loss, food-related stores were especially hard hit, and lost tens of thousands of dollars in perishable food items.
The loan programs were proposed by Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg, president of the LCSC and chair of the LDC Economic Development Committee.
The loan programs make available two low-cost loans, an expedited emergency loan of $10,000 and an additional loan of $25,000 for a total of $35,000 per eligible small business.
The expedited $10,000 micro-loan will be available to assist traumatized business replace lost or damaged inventory and to repair structural damage caused by the storm.
The $25,000 disaster relief loan will help businesses regain their footing after two weeks of lost earnings and other emergency expenses. Both loans will offer very low interest and extremely attractive repayment plans.
According to Trish Komsa, Executive Director of the LDC, small businesses that are UEZ certified can apply for both or either loans immediately. Businesses located in the Township’s UEZ areas that are not yet UEZ certified will be assisted in obtaining certification in an expedited manner, so that they too would be eligible for these disaster recovery loans.
Small businesses that want to apply, or learn more about this and other programs offered by the State and federal government can stop by the LDC office in the municipal building during regular business hours, 9-5 daily. Alternatively, small businesses can request that a LCSC representative visit them at their location to begin the process.
Applicants will be hand-held in filling out a concise application forms. Using streamlined procedures and reduced documentation requirements, the LDC will act rapidly to process the applications and disburse the loan funds to the small businesses where they are urgently needed. Upon request, a bilingual translator, fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, or Yiddish, will be available to assist if necessary.
The Lakewood development Corp. (LDC) can be reached at 732 364-5257.
To schedule an appointment for a Lakewood Community Services (LCSC) loan specialist to visit your business, please call Isser Weisberg at 848 210-7363.
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